Hormones for a Healthy Heart
Improving Your Heart Health with Bioidentical Hormones You probably don’t have to be told that your heart health is important. But what exactly can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease — or even take steps to improve your cardiovascular health overall? And what effect do hormones have on your heart?
Bioidentical Hormones, Synthetic Hormones and Heart Risk
When it comes to heart health, cardiovascular risk and hormone replacement therapy, it’s important to know the differences between bioidentical and synthetic hormones. While bioidentical hormones can actually improve your heart health, synthetic hormones may increase your risk of cardiovascular problems. Unlike bioidentical Hormones and Your Heart hormones, synthetic hormones Hormones have many potentially are not molecularly identical to beneficial effects on the heart for the hormones your body naturally both men and women. For men, Gregory Pippert, MD produces, so the body recognizes low testosterone has been found them as foreign. to be an independent predictor of an increased risk of disease. Women using bioidentical estrogen — In other words, if a man has low but only bioidentical estrogen — have testosterone, his risk of developing also been shown to have a lower heart disease is greater than risk of heart disease. Women using men with adequate levels of synthetic hormones — and especially testosterone, regardless of any other synthetic progesterone — experience risk factors that he may have. the opposite effect. In addition to this increased risk in heart disease, Testosterone has indirect studies have also linked synthetic progesterone to an advantages for heart disease in men, as well. If a man increased risk of coronary artery spasm, during which has an adequate testosterone level, he’s likely to have the artery that supplies the heart muscle seizes up and more energy and improved lean muscle mass. He’s spasms, constricting blood flow. also more likely to exercise, maintain a healthy weight and lose mid-abdominal fat — all of which can further The manner that the hormones are administered also decrease his risk of cardiovascular disease. makes a difference. Synthetic hormones are most Hormones are just as valuable for improving and frequently taken orally. Several studies have shown that maintaining heart health in women, as well. Bioidentical any estrogen taken orally may increase your risk of stroke, estrogen has been shown to reduce the risk of plaque blood clots and heart attack. Bioidentical estrogen, on the formation in the coronary arteries — a leading cause other hand, is frequently taken topically or transdermally of atherosclerosis. Estrogen and progesterone can also — it’s absorbed through the skin, whether it’s in a patch increase cardiovascular health by decreasing the heart form or cream — which eliminates the increased risk of straining that occurs due to cardiovascular ischemia. That these cardiovascular complications. means that women with coronary artery disease were Prevention is Key able to exercise longer without causing their heart to Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a important strain. This effect was maximized when both bioidentical measure for preventing many diseases, especially heart estrogen and progesterone were used. Additionally, disease. But, while hormones are an important aspect studies have shown that testosterone therapy can to keeping your heart healthy, there are also many improve symptoms in both men and women with other ways you can protect your heart. This is especially congestive heart failure.
important in regards to cholesterol. Lifestyle changes can go a long way in improving your cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. Changes that I strongly advocate include: u
Fitness. Exercise is very important for your heart. It can strengthen your heart and improve your cholesterol levels. A combination of interval training and resistance exercise (weights or similar device) will produce the best results. Keep yourself moving for optimal cardiovascular fitness.
Proper nutrition. A healthy diet helps to protect your cardiovascular health. Keep the amount of saturated fats, sugars and starches in your diet to a minimum, reduce your salt intake and make sure you’re getting enough fiber.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids provide a wealth of health benefits. They have been shown to improve the health of your cardiovascular system and improve your blood lipid profile. You can find omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as salmon and other fatty fish, flax seeds, and walnuts, as well as fish oil supplements.
Healthy weight. Excess weight can place a great deal of stress on your heart. If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Even small steps towards a healthy weight — as little as losing 5 or 10 pounds — can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Not smoking. If you smoke, quit, and if you don’t, don’t start. Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and can increase your risk of heart attack and other serious heart problems.
Stress Reduction. Stress can have many negative effects on your health. Find ways to reduce your stress levels, such as relaxation techniques and meditation, to improve your heart health.
Your Doctor & Your Heart It’s important that you see a doctor to assess your potential risk of heart disease. Heart disease risk is affected by your lifestyle, family history and the presence of other medical conditions, such as diabetes or lung disease. Anything that you can do to positively impact any of these risk factors adds up to a cumulative positive benefit to your cardiovascular health in the long term. Make sure that you see someone to assess your risk and address any potential problems so that you can reach and maintain optimal heart health and live your life in the best of health.
To learn more about how bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can improve your heart health, visit www.bodylogicmd.com or call my office at (866) 542-4932.